Here’s what the Hurricanes did in the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft

·6 min read

The Carolina Hurricanes will wait to take the first of 11 scheduled steps to restocking the proverbial talent cupboard until Saturday night, patiently waiting through three hours of telecast only to announce they were trading out of the first round of the NHL Entry Draft.

At their allotted time, which came after 11 p.m., more than three hours after Buffalo made the first pick, the Canes announced their second trade of the night, trading pick No. 27 to Nashville for two second-round picks, Nos. 40 and 51.

The question prior to the draft was in which direction the team might head. The likelihood of a late first-round pick making the roster in Year 1 is slim, so while the team has needs on defense and in forward depth — not to mention the lack of an NHL ready goaltender — the pick Friday night, and those in Rounds 2-7 on Saturday, are made with more of an eye to the future.

To that end, all of the Canes’ 11 scheduled draft picks in this year’s selection process will come on the second day.

Draft-day trade

The Hurricanes kicked off Friday night’s frenzy with another trade, this one perhaps more expected than that which dealt goalie Alex Nedeljkovic to Detroit on Thursday.

This time, the Canes shipped away young defender Jake Bean to Columbus. The return was a second-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft, No. 44 overall.

Bean was the last first-round draft pick from the Ron Francis era since 2012 remaining on the team. He only drew in to 42 regular season games this year, registering one goal and 11 assists. In the playoffs, Bean played in 11 games with a goal and four penalty minutes. He spent 59 games of 2019-20 with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL after making his NHL debut the season prior, in 2018-19.

The Bean-to-Columbus trade was part of a series of bigger moves for the Jackets, who also packaged star defender Seth Jones, the last pick of this year’s first round and a sixth-round pick for Adam Boqvist, the 12th overall pick Friday , a first in 2022 and that second-rounder, 44th overall.

Friday was, overall, a big day for trades around the league. The biggest of all of them was a five-player, nine-asset trade between Vancouver and Arizona. The Coyotes sent captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland to the Canucks. In return, Vancouver sent forwards Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel and a first-round pick (No. 9 overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft to the Coyotes.

Earlier in the day, the St. Louis Blues acquired forward Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Sammy Blais and a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, and the Philadelphia Flyers acquired Rasmus Ristolainen in exchange for defenseman Robert Hagg, 2021 first-round draft pick and 2023 second-round draft pick.

The draft went pretty much as expected through the first dozen picks or so (see list below), but took a turn at Pick 15 when the Dallas Stars, who held No. 15, moved down in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings moved into No. 15, while the Stars slotted into No. 23. The Stars also got Picks 48 (second round) and 138 (fifth round). Detroit, in turn, took the first goalie off the board, Sebastian Cossa of the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League.

Another trade slightly changed the draft order at No. 20. Minnesota traded up to Edmonton’s selection there from No. 22. The Oilers slid back to No. 22, and also snagged a third-rounder, No. 90 overall. With the trade, the Wild jumped ahead of the Bruins at No. 21. With the 20th pick, Minnesota selected

Drafts can be unpredictable

Drafts can be a fickle, unpredictable thing.

With the 27th pick in the 2009 draft, the Canes made forward Philippe Paradis of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL a surprising choice. In 2019, the Canes picked Ryan Suzuki of the Barrie Colts of the OHL with the 28th selection.

Suzuki, 20, is considered one of the Canes’ top prospects and could push for a roster spot in 2021-22. Paradis, 30, was traded by the Canes a few months after being drafted in 2009 and has never played in the NHL.

At the 2018 draft in Dallas, Canes owner Tom Dundon’s hometown, the Canes became the talk of the town. They took Andrei Svechnikov with the second overall pick, then pulled off a mega-trade with the Calgary Flames that brought defenseman Dougie Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and a defensive prospect to the Canes.

That prospect was defenseman Adam Fox, who the Flames drafted but had been unable to sign. Canes general manager Don Waddell called Fox the best defenseman not yet in the NHL and said he was “99.9 percent sure” Carolina would sign the Harvard star to an entry-level contract.

The Canes could not sign Fox. They traded him to the New York Rangers, where he became the Norris Trophy winner this past season as the best defenseman in the NHL.

Imagine the Hurricanes with Hamilton and Fox in the lineup. Now, the Canes might soon be looking for a replacement for Hamilton, a pending unrestricted free agent. Hamilton could be a Seattle Kraken target when NHL free agency begins July 28.

Montreal will host in 2022

In his opening remarks, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the NHL plans to hold the 2022 Entry Draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal, which was supposed to host in 2020 before the pandemic threw things into turmoil.

NHL Entry Draft first-round picks

1. Buffalo Sabres: Owen Power (D)

2. Seattle Kraken: Matty Beniers (F)

3. Anaheim Ducks: Mason McTavish (C)

4. New Jersey: Luke Hughes (D)

5. Columbus: Kent Johnson (C)

6. Detroit: Simon Edvinsson (D)

7. San Jose: William Eklund (LW)

8. Los Angeles: Brandt Clarke (D)

9. Arizona: Dylan Guenther (RW)

10. Ottawa: Tyler Boucher (F)

11. Arizona: Pick forfeited, rules violation

12. Columbus: Cole Sillinger (C)

13. Calgary: Matthew Coronato (RW)

14. Buffalo: Isak Rosen (RW)

15. Detroit: Sebastian Cossa (G)

16. New York Rangers: Brennan Othmann (LW)

17. St. Louis: Zachary Bolduc (LW)

18. Winnipeg: Chaz Lucius (C)

19. Nashville: Fedor Svechkov (C)

20. Minnesota: Jesper Wallstedt (G)

21. Boston: Fabian Lysell (RW)

22. Edmonton: Xavier Bourgault (C)

23. Dallas: Wyatt Johnston (C)

24. Florida: Makie Samoskevich (F)

25. Columbus: Corson Ceulemans (D)

26. Minnesota: Carson Lambos (D)

27: Nashville: Zachary L’Heureux

NHL Entry Draft Rounds 2-7

Saturday, 11 am., NHL Network

Chip Alexander contributed to this report.

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